Where do disc problems come from? Well, I get asked that question as a chiropractor pretty much daily, and what happens is, your discs are actually designed to last you 150 years, but what happens is if your biomechanics gets altered, the stress points change so that your discs start to wear down prematurely.
This is what we call a four bone set, and you can see here this is a normal, healthy disc. This one here is about 10 years of degeneration. This one here is about 20 years, and then once we get over 30 to 40 years, we start to see the disc getting significantly smaller.
In this case also, when you look at a normal healthy disc, there are openings for the nerves to come out. They give them plenty of room where they can come out the neck, go down the arm, or come out the back, and go down the leg.
As long as the disc height are nice and full, then you have enough space for that nerve to come out. As you can see with this one, as they start to get smaller, the disc can actually start to bulge to the point that it can affect the nerve that goes down the spine.
What creates this? I have people that come into me in their 90s and their spine still looks great. I have people that come into me in their 20s, and their spine's already starting to degenerate, starting to get bone spurs, and then people in even their 40s and 50s with fusions going on where the bones have actually already grown together.
What happens is, we have these three major curves in our spine. In the neck we go forward, the upper back goes back, and then the lower back goes forward again. Those curves are there to give us a little resiliency, a little shock absorber. Because gravity's constantly pushing down. We have this big bowling ball, that sets up here on top, and it's there to give you some give.
What happens is, something gets out of alignment, something typically at the very top of the neck, and what it'll do, is it will change the position of your head. So let's say for example, the bone took your head forward like this.
The brain can't be bent down, the brain has to be level always. There's something called the righting reflex. It's a reflex that is there to ensure the brain's always level, not just this way, but also this way.
So if one of the bones in the neck get out of alignment, change the position of the head to get the brain level, it might force the body to do this to get the head back over the shoulders. As a result, you end up with a loss of curve.
As you lose the curve and with gravity pushing down, what happens now are the discs start to get thinner, and they start to wear down prematurely until eventually you could start to have bone spurs starting to appear.
Bone spurs won't hurt you. Your body put that there in an attempt to try to protect that disc. What it tells us is there's a lot of stress at that particular level, and your body's trying to protect that disc by growing a little bony bridge around it.
It doesn't mean that the bone spur is going to start to cause pain down your arm. The pain down the arm or down the leg comes from the disc that's actually bulging backwards, effecting that nerve.
So normally if you look at this curve here in the neck, the discs bulge out towards the front. They kind of wedge toward the front side as they're supposed to, but as you start to lose that curve that starts to go this way to the point where it can go this way, and then the disc comes backwards where that nerve is that goes down the arm and down the legs.
Medicine doesn't have a lot of options. They have drugs and surgery, and so a lot of times they'll give you medication, or even shots or something that will numb the pain. But the underlying structural problem is still there, and if left alone, eventually it could lead to a ruptured disc, surgery, which surgery doesn't have the best performance odds when it comes to disc, and back, and neck surgeries.
So what you need to do is find out what has caused this whole situation, what has caused the disc to degenerate, what has caused the disc to thin, to bulge, to herniate? If you can find the cause and correct that cause, then you can stop it without drugs or surgery, and prevent it from getting worse and worse to the point it could end up in a bigger situation.
So I would suggest the first thing you do is always go least invasive. Try to find an upper cervical chiropractor that focuses on this types of situation. Find one near you. You can Google it. If you can't find one near you, call our office. We'll do our best to find the closest one near you.
If you live in the Charlotte area, Matthews, Pineville, Mint Hill, Gastonia, even South Carolina, Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Huntersville, give our office a call. We're the upper cervical doctor for you, and we can at least tell you if you have an upper cervical problem that could be creating the disc issues that you have, whether it's in your neck, upper back, lower back?
If so, we'll explain to you what we need to do to fix it. Matter of fact, if you tell me you saw this video, we'll give you the initial consultation, to sit down with one of our doctors, at no charge, just to see if we feel like it's something we can help you with. If it is, we'll explain to you what we need to do. If it's not something we think we can help, then we'll try to find the right specialist that we think you need to see in order to get the best results.
So give our office a call, 704-588-5560. Get in here as soon as you can. Let's figure it out, let's get to the bottom of this disc issue you have going on. Let's see if we can get the problem corrected. Let's see if we can get your life back. Hope you have a great afternoon, and we'll see you soon.